I’m going to talk about « Idea of progress ». Nowadays, sciences are constantly evolving, they are still in progress. To illustrate this notion we will focus on Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, called PGD. We will see whether or not PGD is a major breakthrough.
To begin, PGD is a medical innovation as it’s a new technique which enable us to know if an embryo is healthy or likely to develop a disorder. Before, when someone suffered from a genetic disease he was highly likely to pass it on to his children. It could also be used in order to prevent life threatening or genetic diseases. In the future, PGD could be used to recognize and attack cancer cells, scientists are still working on it.
On top of that, PGD is also a cosmetic innovation. Nowadays, we can choose traits of our baby like the gender, the eyes or hair colour by implanting the embryos that give the genetic traits parents want. Doctors can’t promise the results that parents want but he can increase the odds. One more time, PGB is a breakthrough as we can choose what our children will look like.
However, we will see that PGD has some consequences on society. Only rich people can afford to pay this technique, it’s totally unfair for poor people. It means that only rich people are allowed to be healthy. Moreover, the less disabled people there are, the more discriminated they will be. As they will be fewer, they will be seen as freaks. Then, some doctors totally disagree with this technique. They accuse PGD of increasing the gap between the have or the have not. They blame people for wanting to change her child apparence.On top of that as doctors can't promise the results the more expectations parents will have, the more disappointed they would be. Doctor Caplan, an american doctor, disapproves of doctors seeing PDG as a cash business, they aim at earning as much money as possible. Nowadays, few families use PGD for cosmetic traits they are still reluctant to use it, in the next few years people will take it for granted. Because of this new technique, our society will be lead in a conformism society where everyone has the same idea of the perfect baby. It seems to be very dangerous.
To sum up, PGD is a major breakthrough concerning medical innovations, PGD is a positive way of progress as it allowed to cure many diseases even the rarest. To my mind we have to regulate its use in order no to things don't go too far. If we don't, it will create a new categorie of people : the genetically perfect. So progress isn't always a positive things. We can also wonder whether we can plan our child's life ?
I’m going to talk about « Places and Forms of Power ». To begin with, I’d like to state a definition of the notion. In politics and social science, power is the ability to influence the behavior of people.Even when power seems absolute, there are always counter-powers which aim at resisting to it. To illustrate this notion we will focus on the power of artists. We will see whether or not artists have the power to make the world a better place.
First, let's take the example of Bono, the U2 singer. He's one of a kind as he became fully committe in humanitarian causes. Some poor countries have borrowed huge sums of money which they can't pay back. So Bono asked to some countries a debt relief. Bono also organize a series of concerts (Live 8) in order to raise funds.In fact he used his international fame to help people in need. In addition to that, protest songs are a good way to make things change. Strange Fruit denounced the lynchings commonly practiced in the south of United States until 1940. This song is all the more powerful as it is one of the first manifestations of the Civil Rights Movement and one of the first indictments against racism and lynchings. Through songs, artists entice people to react and act insofar as a song is more likety to attract people than politicians speech. Artists raise people awareness more efficiently as unlike politicians they don't have let them down several times.
Secondly, let's take the example of presidential election of United States in 2016. Whenever there is an election, artists tend to defend the democrat party. A lot of artists like Madonna, Lady Gaga, Katty Perry promoted Hillary Clinton through social media. They were very optimistic until the last second. Finally, Trump was elected. Moreover, the world known artist, Leonardo Dicaprio has become really involved in environmental issues. A few years ago, during a conference, he made a speech and faced many criticisms, mostly from journalists. Some have accuses him of being too immature to deal with that. Others, were flabbergasted to see that an actor with such a seducer's reputation made such a crucial speech. So artists are not that powerful.
We will end up by saying that artists can change the world thanks to their international fame insofar as people tend to listen to them and identify with them. Nevertheless, they can't all change because of their reputations. People could also wonder whether artists are legitimate enough to speak about mankind's issues. The power of artists is a topical issue as well as the power of citizens. Since the last mass school shooting in Florida, students urge the government to increase gun control. The question at stake is whether or not they will succeed in breaking the 2nd amendment.
The notion I am going to deal with is « Spaces and Exchanges ». From 1870 to 1996, Canada government removed Aboriginal children from their home and culture and put them in residencial schools. These school's point was to integrate these children in the white culture, they were forbidden to speak their own language, otherwise they were beaten. We can discribe it as a cultural genocide. We will see to what extend Truth and Reconciliation Commissions have really solves problems ?
First, since few years the relationships between Canada and Aborigenes seems to be on the path of apology and reconciliation. Recently in 2008, the canadian government acknowledged their responsability and apologised for abuse in residencial schools. Truth and Reconciliation Commissions set up in 2008.The Canadian government reproduced those of South Africa which took place in order to forgive and forget what Apartheid was all about. This kind of commisson isn't a punitive form of justice but rather a restorative justice. These commissions aim at correcting imbalances, restoring broken relationships with healing, harmony and reconciliation. Canadian government also settled the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous People and provide equity for aboriginal people in the legal system. On top of that, they created a national council for reconciliation and many commemorations take place along the year.
Secondly, we will see what are the consequences today of this cultural genocide. First nation men and women today are very likely to suffer from psychological disorders and alcoholism or likely to take drugs, to be unemployed. Because of Residencial schools, they are intellectually and culturally inferior. In addition to that, as they were not allowed to speak their own language, Aboriginal languages are critically endangered. Nowadays, the government implement symbolical measures : they teach what happened in Residencial schools. They not only deprived these children from their family they also stole their cultural identity. The setting up of measures to improve their welfare can't repare what have been done.
To conclude It is puzzling to see how long it took the Canadian authorities to fully acknowledge the abuse First nations endured with the residential schools. The TRC can help aborigenes to forgive and forget what happened but the First Nation could never recover from what they suffered from. This is a topical issue as we live in a world were populations are made to move and adjust to new culture such as the Inuit. Because of the icecape melting, some parts of the Arctic Zone are now accessible. Some countries are becoming more and more interested in the access to raw materiels (lithium). Inuits don't have a word to say as they are considered are inferior.
Merci d'avance !